Things You Should Know This Week (05.21.16)

Movies

A second trailer for Star Trek Beyond has been released. While I kind of enjoyed the first Beastie Boys fueled trailer, it didn’t feel too Star Trek to me. This latest one is more promising.

We got a new trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot this week. I am excited. I also find it annoying that there are dudebros out there that don’t like the idea of an all-ladies Ghostbusting team. Hopefully the movie is good and shuts them all up. Though, even if it is, some will still complain.

Tech

Google I/O happened this week. For those who aren’t developers or gadget fans, this is their annual developers conference where they preview the upcoming version of Android and other upcoming hardware and software products. Here are the products I am most looking forward to. (all links will be to The Verge’s coverage)

Android Apps on Chromebooks
I am a huge proponent of the Chromebook for home use. The average computer user–at least the ones that I know–spends most, if not all, of their time on the web. Do you desperately need to do some word processing or spreadsheeting? Fine, use Google Docs or Office 365. Are you heavy into music production or other multimedia editing? Ok, maybe you need a Mac or Windows-based computer.

That said, it would be nice to have access to some of the apps that I commonly use on my phone, especially ones that run offline. Integrating Android apps into Chromebooks will fill that, admittedly, tiny void and make the proposition of a Chromebook that much more compelling.

Google Daydream
Google Cardboard–a simple cardboard box with lenses that you drop your phone into for VR content–has been available for some time now. Daydream is a much fuller implementation of virtual reality using your phone. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require expensive computer hardware setups. The Samsung Gear VR requires a Samsung phone. Daydream will also require phones with certain specs, but you will be able to use a wider variety of them, resulting in a much lower barrier to entry. Implemented correctly, this will be the product that pushes VR into the mainstream.

Android Wear 2.0
I dream of the ultimate wearable. Notifications at a glance are key, and already well implemented in the couple smartwatches that I own. The Pebble Time is my current favorite and I really can’t recommend it enough. But, there is a next step that I am waiting for–I want a smartwatch that I can untether from my phone for short periods of time. There are some times where I don’t want to have a giant phone bulging in my pocket, or where I don’t want the temptation of distraction. In those instances, I want to be able to leave my phone at home, but still send and receive quick messages, grab an uber, or even get some quick directions. I wouldn’t be disconnecting–because come on, that is increasingly unreasonable to expect–I would be limiting the amount of connectivity, distraction, and pocket bulge. Android 2.0 seems like the promise of this dream.

Other announcements

  • I am not too interested in Google’s new video and text messaging apps. Not that they don’t look good, but I don’t see a compelling reason to switch over yet.
  • Google Home is the competitor to Amazon’s Echo. I like my Echo. Again, I don’t have a good reason to switch.
  • More AI is going to be integrated into Google’s products. This is cool and scary and warrants a separate post in the future.

Cybersecurity

If you haven’t already done so, please go change your LinkedIn password.

Ending on a Happy Note

Mars is beautiful.